“What’s For Dinner” Dilemma
Meal Prep Your Way To Health & Fitness Goals
By Sherise Henry
Imagine yourself walking down the aisle of your favorite grocer. You’ve finally convinced yourself that you have enough willpower to go on a diet. A diet that, by the way, starts tomorrow because your going to give yourself one last favorite meal farewell by cooking that lasagna you’ve been craving all week. Other than that what should go in your basket? “Fruits and veggies… yeah, everybody knows those are good for you,” you think aloud. “Gotta have some protein…hmm, what about chicken? Snacks… I need healthy snacks,” you tell yourself while throwing in the un-salted popcorn with no butter. And just in case you actually make it through the next week of eating well, you need a reward day, so in goes the snicker bar for good measure.
At home your refrigerator and cupboard is beginning to look like someone who eats healthy lives there. Only in reality that leftover lasagna tasted too good to throw out and the salad and chicken just wasn’t enough to fill you up so you added rice to your meal the last two nights. Was that a mistake? Will you ever really lose the weight? These questions and more can be answered with a more specific formula applied to your eating habits.
Meal planning is gaining popularity among those considering a lifestyle change in their eating habits. It’s a plan of action that can cure many dinner dilemmas. You can do it by yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Michelle DesOrmeaux Merrill is a bikini pro and former fitness instructor who relies on meal planning to keep her in shape. She says the process definitely has its benefits. “The most beneficial part of meal planning is not getting stuck without a meal,” says Merrill. We all know the feeling of being really hungry and when we get to that point, as humans it is hard to make the right decisions. So we end up grabbing whatever we can find immediately and eating it. This is the number 1 cause of diet derailing. If we have our meals prepped and with us, we will never be put in this predicament,” says Merrill. Merrill fills that fitness goals can be 100 percent achieved with the correct diet.
What’s the right diet for you? Merrill says it’s important to listen to what your body is craving, (not the chocolate and soda stuff), but rather the nutrients you need. She says good carbohydrates and healthy fats like sweet potatoes and Ezekiel bread help with your body’s energy level. “There is much research as of late as to what proper nutrition is,” says Merrill. She encourages everyone to do their own research. For those who want professional help in finding out what needs are particular to your body you may want to consult a nutritionist. DNA test can now be done to match your body’s unique makeup to what foods you need.
Need more help in determining what to put on your plate? Green Heart Meals in Lafayette offer their clients a wide variety of meals to choose from so that dieting wont become boring and easier to avoid doing. Michel Nguyen owner of Green Heart Meals says their company has helped many stay on track.
“Many of our customers have attempted to meal plan on their own and more times than not, the stress of cooking, packing and cleaning becomes overwhelming. Therefore, their goals are not met and the “go-getter” mentality dies off. By having our services, their stress is being relieved and their goals are being met,” says Nguyen. Nguyen adds that not many people know what to eat or how much to eat and they help with that. “We have correctly portioned meals with macronutrients that are sure to help any person on the journey to health and fitness,” he says
For those who still want to try dieting with a meal plan on their own at home Merrill has some words of encouragement “ I want people to know that when they start meal prep they tend to be really hard on themselves, it’s okay to mess up because we are all human. Its mainly just moderation it’s all about moderation. As a society we need to change the way we view food. We have to eat to live and not live to eat,’ says Merrill.
Merrill has placed 11th in the world and 3rd in the country in the WBFF (World Beauty Fashion and Fitness) bikini competition. Her advice is to adjust your eating habits to reasonable fitness goals. “What your fitness goals are determines how much food you need and what to follow,” says the bikini champ.